Accepted 30th June, 2013
Institutionalization of a value chain development approach within the public sector requires a critical mass of trained individuals who would lead implementation and scaling out of the approach. Strengthening the research and extension system through graduate training and research is one of the capacity development interventions of the Livestock and Irrigation Value Chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project. This paper presents the experience of the LIVES project in working with graduate programs and partners to support capacity development of public sector staff. The paper is based on analysis of 122 graduate research by gender, commodity, value chain component, and type of study. The paper also makes use of information obtained through individual interviews with supervisors, project teams, and graduate fellows. The paper finds that, despite the value chain-oriented research agenda of the project, most graduate research focuses on the production component of the value chain system. Finally, it concludes that graduate programs are, for the most part, disciplinary-based and need to integrate interdisciplinary and holistic education and research programs.
Keywords: Value chain development, graduate research, Ethiopia.